The Majestic furnished one of my favourite grand hotel stays in recent years and I would be happy to stay again when in KL. One key thing to be aware of: know whether you are selecting the old or new building when booking.
Despite past unfavourable experiences with Agoda, I somewhat hesitantly booked through Agoda. I looked at the hotel’s own website but it was clunky and prices were costlier than Agoda. The cost was approximately $1,300 per night including breakfast. Depending on day and season, cheaper prices seem widely available.
I booked a Straits Room. Basically the hotel has a storied history including a spell as a national art gallery. Its rehabilitation as a hotel involved building an ugly modern extension which bears little resemblance to the original hotel. I knew from research that the original wing requires booking certain room types but otherwise would never have known this and could easily have booked into the modern part of the hotel, which would have led to a very different and for my tastes far less enjoyable stay. (Some locals prefer the modern part, by the way, because they feel that it is less likely to be haunted than the original part).
Upon arrival the booking was upgraded to a suite, which I greatly appreciated.
The bedroom contained a large, fabulously comfortable bed. That alone made this a great hotel.
There was a large bathroom done in classic style, including with a deep bathtub. It was plastic not cast iron, but was comfortable nonetheless.
There was a large living room area.
The suite included a free non-alcoholic minibar, and some additional benefits such as free laundry which arriving having just travelled hundreds of miles overland was a welcome amenity.
The room was done out in classic style, with windows to let in plenty of daylight. It was quiet and comfortable. I could have happily spent most of my time in KL in the hotel.
KL has multiple centres of gravity. As befits its vintage, the Majestic is basically close to one of those but not necessarily the modern one.
It was supposedly across the road from the old KL railway station, though the metro station name of that name was a fifteen minute walk away. The old railway station is a minor tourist attraction, and closeby is Chinatown which is a popular tourist area though for Hong Kongers it may feel a bit like what they left at home.
Thanks to the upgrade, I had access to the hotel lounge, an alright space whose main attraction was afternoon tea and evening drinks and nibbles, all on the house. It was limited to guests staying in the old wing (and elite members of Marriott’s loyalty programme), so like the old wing in general never felt crowded.
There is a medium sized swimming pool in front of the hotel, which is pleasant enough though as a busy road is just a few yards away it is not as tranquil as perhaps it once was.
There were a number of lovely public spaces on the ground floor, including a cocktail bar with live jazz and a drawing room which looked like it was straight out of an English home.
Breakfast was included and was the one disappointment which did not live up to the promise of this hotel. The buffet lunch was in the modern extension and felt like any high end large hotel in mainland China – a large dining room stuffed with guests, and noisy. The food selection was fair but not at a five star level, and in no way bears comparison to the offering of other Asian grande dame hotels like the Oriental or Metropole.
The service was generally good, with butler service on call. Staff were friendly and proactive throughout.
That said, they did forget breakfast on the second day and when it came forty five minutes late (after I had called down) got the order wrong despite the menu only having two choices, so the service is not flawless.
If you want a classic Indochinese grand hotel at a comparatively good price, this is a good choice. It was spacious, refined, quiet and charming. I would love to go back if I was in KL again.
Phone: +60 3-2785 8000